by Flannery O’Connor
Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
This short story is about a woman, named Mrs.Turpin, and her thoughts and feelings over the course of a day. The main setting is a doctor’s waiting room, where Mrs.Turpin goes because of her husband, Claud. Mrs.Turpin is instantly judgemental, thinking about the different classes each person in the waiting room falls into, and how she is better than the majority of people on Earth. Then comes Mary Grace, an “ugly” overweight, acne covered girl who sits there, glaring at Mrs.Turpin and reading a book. Mrs.Turpin, being the way that she is, doesn’t exceptionally like Mary Grace… and it goes from there.
This is a classic Flannery O’Connor short story whose theme relates good-from-bad, and right-from-wrong. It has a great plot, and it leaves you filled with emotions about each of the main characters. It should only take about 20 minutes to read, so it is great for if you, like Mrs.Turpin, are stuck in a waiting room. Even though it is short, the themes and the thoughts which it provokes will stick with you for much longer. I found myself judging Mrs.Turpin, and then wondering if I was just like her, and panicking (you’ll understand if you read the book) and then going back to wondering just what the author was trying to convey.
For the most part, it is entirely realistic even if, like me, you are not a devout Catholic. The only part where I found it to be a bit too dramatic was the very end. O’Connor added this part, as it was not originally included, and in my opinion I feel as though she should have just left it out entirely. It became very religious, god comes back to Earth feel, which I personally didn’t like. That being said, it is only for the very last paragraph of the story so by all means do not let that discourage you.
The book is filled with the in depth thoughts of Mrs.Turpin, and her descriptions of the people around her, but there are also some very comical moments interspersed, allowing you to become even more involved in what you are reading. This is a great short story, and I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a short yet thought provoking next read.
Have you read this or any of Flannery O’Connor’s other short stories? What did you think? Let us know, comment below!